Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19015 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II 157299, VF-103 "Sluggers',
USS Saratoga, 1971

The final variant of the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II was the F-4J; an improved version of the F-4B and was produced for the USMC and USN. There were approximately 520 airframe built with the first operational flight taking place in 1966. The F-4J was provided with stronger landing gear and modifications to the inner wings and tail. The F-4J also received the new J79-GE-10 engines providing 17,900 lbs of thrust.

VF-103 was activated in 1952 and from 1953 until 1957 they were the “Flying Cougars” before becoming the “Sluggers”. In 1965 VF-103 received the F-4B which they flew until 1968 when the F-4J arrived. VF-103 deployed 15 times on board USS Saratoga and in 1971 sailed to the Mediterranean. In 1972 F-4J 157299 scored a victory over a MiG-21 and in 1976 was transferred to VF-11 “Red Rippers” where it was lost in 1977. Late in 1995 VF-84 “Jolly Rogers” was decommissioned so to keep the name alive VF-103 adopted the name “Jolly Rogers”.

Specifications for the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II
Dimensions Length – 58 ft 3 in Wingspan – 38 ft 5 in Height – 16 ft 3 in
Empty – 32,000 lbs Maximum Takeoff – 56,000 lbs
Maximum Level Speed – Mach 2+ Combat Radius Intercept – 781 miles Attack – 868 miles